2008-02-06

The Amazing Race

The results are still coming in and it's neck-and-neck for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Once the dust settles, I'll be putting together a chart of the votes and where they've come from all around the nation. For right now, I wanted to talk about the experience I had last night during the Colorado caucus.

An unprecedented number of people came to our caucus location. LK and I had shown up early in order to scope things out and get our bearings. LK decided earlier that evening that I should play the role of Precinct Captain, since I was more excited about public speaking and helping to organize everyone. I had a blast! I found myself making quite an impression on voters and officials. I have to admit, though, I felt a little guilty seeing what a handful Evie was being for LK. She just hung in there though, with Evie using her as a climbing post!

As the evening progressed a county official made it known that there was an opportunity for someone to speak on-behalf of the candidates to the caucus. Each would have 2 minutes. I had already developed somewhat of a repute with the county officials, so I offered myself as spokesperson for Obama. A woman came to the front to read a letter from Hillary Clinton. She did her best, but I felt a bit sad for her as it was very difficult to hear her and she appeared very nervous reading her letter from Hillary.

When it came time for an Obama spokesperson, I weaved my way to the front. An elderly lady near the front did not think that anyone was stepping forward, so she grabbed a Barack Obama flyer and approached the make-shift stage. I indicated to her that I was coming up as well, we shared a brief discussion in which she kindly yielded the stage to me as I had a speech prepared and was comfortable with public-speaking. I stood in front of the people present and gave myself one booster thought before I spoke, "Indy, you are here to speak for Obama. A man of great resolve and charisma. Deliver this speech as he would, if he were here."

I have never felt so honored in my life. There I was telling hundreds of people why I had chosen Barack Obama as my candidate. Telling them why he would stand for us and empower us. At one point during the speech, the crowd erupted with applause. I honestly cannot remember what I had said at that point, but I do remember holding out my hand and saying, "Thank you, but hold on. I only have so much time and so much more to say." I continued, emphasizing points that were key to swaying anyone with doubts. When I finished speaking I looked up to a cheering crowd and, in the back, my wife was grinning and my daughter was clapping.

Apparently, I had changed the minds of quite a few people. When I had first arrived at my precinct table, the general consensus seemed to be for Hillary, but after returning to my table and commencing with the candidate selection the numbers stood at 49 for Obama and 9 for Clinton. 10 was our threshold for viability. With that in mind, I nearly stepped over to the Clinton side simply so that their voice would have representation in our precinct. Many people might find it strange that I would change my vote when I feel so strongly about a candidate, simply to give the minority a voice, but I believe Obama would have done the same thing -- he believes ALL people deserve to have a voice. However, before I could step over to the Clinton group, another individual had stepped over with the same intent, thus making the final count: 48 Obama, 10 Clinton.

As we looked around the room, similar results appeared in other precincts. Upon returning home, we found that Obama had taken Larimer county with huge numbers. Later it appeared that he had won Colorado as well.

LK and I have worked very hard to voice our support for Barack Obama. Last night, we watched as our voices were shared by our precinct, our county, and even our state. I can only hope now that our voice will be shared by the nation. And that WE, the people of the United States of America, will be heard and will not be drowned out by "politics as usual".
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